Union cabinet: Karnataka gets four ministries

Union cabinet: Karnataka gets four ministries

HD Kumaraswamy has been allotted the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Steel, Food, Consumer Affairs and Renewable Energy to Pralhad Joshi, Shobha Karandlanje wears the mantle of Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and V Somanna who won from Tumakuru is the new Minister of State in the Ministry of Jal Shakti; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways

Bengaluru: Going by the number of berths that the Members of Parliament elected from Karnataka got in the Narendra Modi 3.0 government at the centre, it appears that the BJP is going for the kill in Karnataka again with a vengeance after the severe drubbing the party got at the hands of Congress party in the state assembly elections in 2023.

In the intermittent period between the 2023 elections and the 2024 general elections, the BJP is weaving a web of intense politics around the Siddaramiah government. Firstly, it had changed several sitting MPs from the 2019 General Elections and secondly befriended the Janata Dal (Secular), which has a stronghold in the old Mysore region.

And thirdly, appointing HD Kumaraswamy of JDS (also the former Chief Minister of Karnataka) as a union cabinet minister, making him a heavyweight in national politics. HD Kumaraswamy has been allotted the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Steel. Though the Heavy Industries and steel portfolio is not considered to be a great seat of power, it is true that with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental push, particularly in infrastructure and industry in his third Avatar, the ministry has a great scope in terms of adding value to the third term of the Prime Minister and NDA government at the centre.

The new government is looking at synergising infrastructure and development with other ministries like national highways and surface transport, aviation, ports and railways. The ministry that Kumaraswamy is heading is a stakeholder in all these ministries directly or indirectly.

The second ministry that has been allotted to Karnataka is that of Food, Consumer Affairs and Renewable Energy to Pralhad Joshi MP from the Dharwad constituency. India is one of the largest consumer populations in the world for global players in various sectors like FMCG, Energy, and automobiles, consumer affairs are going to be one of the leading ministries in terms of revenue generation, welfare and nutrition. This ministry also has its stakes of health, industrial production, and a few other ministries directly or indirectly.

Shobha Karandlanje MP from Bengaluru South is a winning horse for the BJP in both the state assembly and Lok Sabha. She had been winning from everywhere This is the third time she has won and twice to the state assembly in the past despite the BJP paradropping her from one constituency to another in all elections since 2000.

She now wears the mantle of Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). Modi’s first term in 2014 took great strides in developing the MSMEs into ancillary support to large and heavy industries in the country, many of them are now working in the fields of aviation, automobiles, ordnance, precision engineering, renewable energy and even for space applications.

But in his second term 2019-24) the MSMEs were incubating and were left to fend for themselves, many of them went sick but can rise with new technology transfer, funding and new research initiations. Modi in his third term aims exactly at that and chose Shobha Karandlaje for this task. The eternal cry baby -V Somanna who won from Tumakuru, who has got still more active politics left in him must thank Amit Shah and Modi for saving his career. He was on the verge of hanging up his boots. After he was negated the post of BJP state President in 2023, lost in two constituencies in the 2023 elections and also denied a MLC seat, Somanna began to feel like an unwanted child in the BJP.

But Modi and Shah acting on BS Yeddyurappa, allowed him to contest and JP Nadda the BJP president had thrown his weight behind Somanna to win from Tumakuru. As Minister of State for Prime minister’s niche vision ‘Jalshakti’ (water resources) and Railways Somanna will be working with big minds like PMO and the Union Railway minister

Ashwini Vaishnaw.

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